Odilon Redon by Richard Hobbs

Odilon Redon by Richard Hobbs

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Boston : New York graphic Society, 1977. Hardcover. 192 pages ; illustrated ; 29 cm. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!


ODILON REDON by Richard Hobbs

"While I recognize the necessity for a basis of observed reality true art lies in a reality that is felt." This was the credo of the great Symbolist artist Odilon Redon. Scrutinizing nature, he then transformed it to conform to the visions of his mind's eye—poetic nightmares, enigmatic beasts, flowers of improbable beauty.

This is the first book to illustrate the astonishing range of Redon's art in all its bewildering changes of mood and medium, and at the same time to locate the artist in a Symbolist and Decadent context. His early works are chiefly haunting visions in the sumptuous blacks of charcoal and lithograph ; later, toward 1900, his works, in oil and pastel, become more serene and brilliantly colorful. At every stage of his career, Redon was widely misinterpreted by critics who distorted the meaning of his work to fit their own enthusiasm.

Richard Hobbs, Lecturer at Bristol University, is a notable scholar of French cultural history and a leading authority on Redon and the literature of his time. He examines penetratingly the artist's reputation in the circle of Huysmans and the literary Symbolists, and balances this with discussions of individual works. The fascinating and lucid course the author charts through the shifting world of the French and Belgian salons and literary coteries provides a significant background for understanding the disturbing and achingly beautiful works of Redon.

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